If you’ve been a Strengthcoach.com reader for some time now, I’m sure you’ve come across Coach Boyle’s article “The Evolution of a Strength coach,” in which he discusses the likely path of most strength coaches, particularly males. He describes it as a journey that will set the coach on the path as a bodybuilder, powerlifter, injured powerlifter and finally, a functional training guy. I’ve seen this progression run true for a lot of coaches, myself included. However, in 2013 I learned that there is an evolution to many sides of this industry. The one I experienced most this year was changes to my approach in soft tissue, stretching and movement preparation. For a long time, I followed older and outdated protocols when dealing with soft tissue restriction and ‘tightness’ and as a result, I often got nowhere. This year however, I became a licensed massage therapist, as well as invested a ton of time into my continuing education. Here are some of my biggest takeaways from 2013 (you’ll notice that many of these run parallel to Coach Boyle’s, it was an enlightening year for us and we were fortunate to have some great education offered to us).
- Breathing is everything– Ok. Breathing isn’t everything but it’s pretty damn important. Invest in PRI’s Myokinematic course and learn about how postural deviations effect the diaphragm, how detrimental a dysfunctional diaphragm can be to a training program, and what to do about it.
- Practice Turkish Get Ups everyday– There’s too much to put on paper to describe why I think this is a good idea. Let’s just leave it at the fact you and your clients will have improved quality of movement with more TGU’s. Make the load, the lowest priority, prioritize movement quality.
- You cannot DESTROY tissue into being healthy– As a new therapist, I still have a ton to learn. But one thing I’ve realized we’ve got to get away from is this idea that you can SMASH or CRUSH tissue restrictions into getting the results you want. It just doesn’t work. Tissue has a mind of it’s own, and it needs to be treated as such. Generally, there has to be a gentler introduction, followed by effective treatment, that flosses on the edge of pain if needed. If you create a situation of high tension during soft tissue work, your treatment will likely be ineffective.
- Hips and Shoulders are the knots of the body– Make sure your hips and shoulders have the appropriate, symmetrical range of motion.
- SFMA– If you’ve been using the FMS for some time now, and want to invest into taking your assessment up a level, the SFMA is a worthy investment. Although it is supposed to be exclusive to PT’s, DPT’s, MD’s…you can go, utilize the assessment tool, even follow the corrective exercise progressions and refer out if needed.
- KB OH Press– The KB overhead press is the best exercise you can do for a male physique.
- Not everybody is tight- Stop overstretching. 99% of the time, grabbing a foam roller and then stretching whatever hurts, is not the problem. Take a step back, literally, step backwards. Think about the issue as only one piece of the puzzle. Be a movement investigator. Ask what replicates the pain, ask what makes the pain better, assess positioning and movement, THEN make a decision on a treatment plan.